News / Asia

Cebu Island Struggles to Recover From Typhoon's Direct Hit

Aid Just Reaching Hard-Hit Philippines Islandsi
X
November 15, 2013 5:41 PM
Central Philippines island of Cebu was in direct path of Haiyan and is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
VIDEO: Central Philippines island of Cebu, which was directly in Haiyan's path, is only now receiving relief supplies. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman has more.
In the Philippines, much of the world's attention has focused on the devastated city Tacloban where authorities have struggled to deliver aid to tens of thousands of homeless residents.

But scores of smaller towns across the country's central islands are only just being reached by aid workers a week after Typhoon Haiyan. Among them: Daanbantayan on Cebu island's northern tip, which was in the storm’s direct path.

At one aid station, fledgling attempts are made to transform frustration and confusion into organization as food, water and other necessities trickle into coastal villages directly hit by winds of more than 300 kilometers per hour.
 
Francisco Oswa, his wife and their five children rode out the storm at his mother’s sturdier house next door.

“The roofs all flew off. Our neighbors’ homes collapsed. Then our house was destroyed," she explained through an interpreter. "We’re poor people, we need help here. We are out of food." 

While Cebu’s physical devastation is enormous, its remarkably low human death toll is being attributed to most people heeding the mandatory evacuation notices. But figuring out where to shelter more than 20,000 households is now the latest challenge for Dann Andrio, operations officer on assignment from the national interior department.

“What we really need is temporary shelters," he said. "A big help would be the used tarpaulins or big mats or any kind of plastic material that can sustain at least a day or so, especially because Philippines is a tropical country. We’re expecting not just summer, but also rainy season, rainy days.”
 
Under a blazing sun, children cluster by the roadside pleading hunger, and a fortunate few receive handouts. But some officials dismiss their pleas as the exploits of perennially impoverished parents seeking to capitalize on the sympathies of foreign aid workers.

But for most families in Cebu, it has long been a hand-to-mouth existence, even when not contending with the destruction wrought by one of the world’s most powerful storms.

  • A girl returns home after getting water, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A volunteer in a passing car hands out water to typhoon victims, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children wait on roadsides to get handouts from passing motorists, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A damaged church in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Children play on limbs of a fallen tree in front of their destroyed home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A home that was destroyed by Typhoon Haiyan, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A group of people, mostly seniors, waits for relief supplies in the blazing sun, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • A family in front of their damaged home, Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)
  • Limbs from downed trees are piled up in a severely damaged village in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 14, 2013. (Photo: Steve Herman / VOA)
  • A view of the damage in Cebu, Philippines, Nov. 15, 2013. (Steve Herman/VOA)

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid